Hearing the Truth in Counseling

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I am not always a fan of hearing the truth. Example: my doctor tells me I have low energy because I don’t exercise enough – not because there is something wrong with me medically. I just wanted to hear that there is a quick fix – a pill or something. This news requires that I make an effort to take action. It will alter my lifestyle and schedule and take away a certain comfort I have gotten used to over the years.

It’s the same in counseling. Most people want to hear that someone else is to blame for their problems. They want to shift the responsibility of having to change on to someone else. It might be a spouse or other family member or a co-worker or a friend – anyone besides the person looking at them in the mirror each morning.

I have a lot of compassion for these people. It’s not easy to embrace truth when we have spent a lot of energy building fortresses around our false beliefs. Pulling down these walls requires embracing the grief process which begins with breaking the denial of what is really true – that the problem lies within me.

“I have a problem.” 

With those words there is real hope of things getting better. It may bring sadness at first, especially if the realization is the result of a crisis, a serious rejection or significant loss.

  • My wife left me because of my drinking
  • My boyfriend broke it off because I was too clingy and controlling
  • I lost my job because of my anger
  • I didn’t speak up and someone else got chosen
  • I allow myself to get distracted and I don’t accurately hear what people say

Do you get upset and angry when people point out your shortcomings? Do you beat up on yourself and feel defeated? Or instead do you reflect on their words and try to use them to grow?

A counselor always holds your positive growth as their goal for you – never condemnation. Can you receive it that way even when the truth is painful? I (Dave) was in counseling for three years. Some of those sessions with my counselor were not easy – and others were downright perplexing – but I always knew that he was for me.

God is also intensely for us and corrects us because of His love for us – but we must be willing to receive it for it to benefit us. Any thoughts?

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